I don't know what this great thing I'm meant to be doing is, and it looks to me as if I was supposed not to know. And I resent that, right?
As promised, here's the options I see before me. Fair warning, this post probably won't contain much useful information for anyone besides me, or an awful lot of redeeming entertainment value for that matter. Except of course that you'll be treated to my "unique" writing style...yay? If you haven't read that earlier post yet, you need to. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Back? OK, good. Let's continue.
There's lots to do in EVE Online. In fact, one of the very first things I was ever introduced to was the EVE Careers Guide. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's basically a breakdown of a very large number of things to do in EVE. It's a little dated now, lacking some activities introduced in the last couple of years, but it's also probably the most impressive use of the PDF format I've ever seen and is definitely worth the read. More recently there was The Flowchart. While much more up-to-date, it doesn't go into the same level of detail, but is certainly a good reference at a glance.
Thankfully, I'm not really presented with that many different choices. Finding myself enjoying the Ship on Ship variety of EVE PvP, combined with previous experience in Nullsec and a very negative Security Status, my options of somewhat simplified. I began to see the options before me as approaching a crossroads and, because I love torturing metaphors, that's how I'll be presenting it to you.
The Way I Came
The most obvious, and arguably simplest, choice would be to go back from whence I came. By that, I mean to simply find another Lowsec Pirate Corp and keep ransoming anything I can find. As discussed in my last post, this was also my initial gut reaction. After exploring the options that were immediately present down this path, I've found it's not quite as simple as my gut would've led me to believe.
It also has the arguable drawback of being something I've already done. Don't get me wrong here, I love Piracy to death, but perhaps this opportunity for change should be seized upon and a change is in order. Maybe not a complete abandonment of Piracy, but at least some tweaking on my current formula.
A Hard Left
I guess to any discussion of where I've really come from wouldn't be complete without Highsec. Of course, I started here, although I only spent a few weeks in it, but going back presents other potential for PvP. There is however a rather large roadblock in place. Namely, my aforementioned Sec Status.
With a current negative nine-point-something the NPC Navy doesn't take too kindly to me entering Highsec at the moment. While I know others have repaired their Sec Status in a marathon afternoon, by all accounts it was an extremely painful experience. As someone who was pretty burnt out on shooting NPCs the first time I tried it, I don't really relish the thought of being forced into doing it again. This puts a number of activities that I'd like to try, such as Mercenary work or Ninja Salvaging somewhat out of my immediate reach. There'd need to be some pretty compelling reasons for me to put myself through that kind of torture just for highsec access.
The Right Way
Maybe a bit too broad of a category, but I'm going to lump all the other forms of PvP I could start immediately into this section. That includes such activities as joining a Sovereign Nullsec alliance, having a go at NPC Nullsec, and Lowsec Factional Warfare. I may be doing them all a disservice by lumping them together, but since my knowledge of each of them individually is quite limited, that's where they're going.
Through my casual following of Sov Warfare lately, it seems like I might just find a use for polishing off my Russian. (Side-note: I took Russian in Highschool. Yes, it was offered in Public Schools here. No, I didn't think it was odd at the time. Yes, everyone has pointed out that it's very unusual since then.) Honestly though, I'm not really set up to be a Nullsec PvPer. I may fly a mean Assault Frigate, but I haven't seen an awful lot of fleets where Assault Ships V is going to help me. My focus on Lowsec Small Gang PvP has left me somewhat ill-equipped for the ships that are most popular in the world of Nullsec. Finally, no discussion of it would be complete that all the things which turned me off to the concept originally still apply in that I'm not really thrilled with the idea of becoming just a cog in the wheel.
I still remember having the record set straight for me that NPC Nullsec is nothing like the Sov Warfare I had associated with 0.0 space. From everything I've heard, it finds a sort of equilibrium between the Small Gangs in Lowsec and the Large Fleets in Sov Null, just with Bubbles and Bombs and...something, Oh My! Would have been nice to have a third thing there...oh right, no gate guns. Not very alliterative though...
Last, but-oh-who-are-we-kidding definitely least, is Factional Warfare. Generally getting a bad rap as a completely abandoned concept from CCP, I've thought about joining FW. One of the big appeals is that I could do it in Lowsec which I'm already accustomed to. I could also just join the an NPC FW Corp and not have to bother with any recruiting hassles. As I understand it, the negative aspects of FW are thus (Hopefully some kind reader will correct me if I'm totally off the mark here):
Basically, FW was created as this sort of easy way of getting into PvP. You had a predefined Enemy, and the barrier to joining it was non-existent. There was in fact a Golden-Age of FW shortly after the introduction where noobs in Rifters were seen duking it out all over Lowsec with the (largely pointless) goal of controlling Bunkers. Enter the Spy. It didn't take long for Spying to become common place and Fleets of Noobs to start running headlong into waiting Gatecamps. At this point, everyone stopped trusting everyone and that non-existent barrier to entry was replaced by one almost impossible to overcome. That about sums it up...I think?
From my perspective, however, I could continue to be a solo Pirate while in a FW Corporation. All that would really change for me is that I get a Militia channel, and suddenly gate-guns wouldn't shoot me when I found someone from an opposing militia. Also I could run missions for them or something, but I'm largely ignoring the PvE content here.
The Lonely Road Ahead
Finally, I'm considering going it alone. Striking out in my own Corporation and just seeing how that goes. Yeah...not much of a plan there really. And that, in a nutshell, is the drawback. I didn't plan on creating a Corporation of my own at this juncture in my EVE career. It's something I've considered for a long-term goal, but I'm not sure I'm ready for it yet.
If I did do it now I'd probably follow in the footsteps of someone I have a lot of respect for, Sard Caid. You may know him as the leader of Gunpoint Diplomacy [RANSM], an organization that has more EVE-Bloggers on board than you can shake a stick at, but it wasn't always that way. Until last year, Sard was basically a Solo Pirate in a Tax Shelter who used to advise against being an outlaw. The irony there still amuses me. He did have a valid point of course, if I was to go it solo getting my Sec up to -4.9 would allow me to receive occasional backup in the way of Gate-guns.
Starting my own Corporation now would probably mean me just following a similar strategy. Allowing myself to solo without the annoying chatter on an NPC Corp channel and allowing any eventual recruitment to just happen organically versus actively pursuing members now. Maybe I could mix-and-match this with other concepts like forming a corporation and moving to NPC Nullsec, or Joining FW, or what have you, but I don't necessarily want to try doing too many new things at once.
Thank God He's Finished
So that's that. The choices as I see them. I'd love some feedback from anyone that cares to give it. Writing all this down has sort of allowed me to analyze the options a bit better, but I still haven't settled on a decision. Hopefully I will soon though, so you can stop having to read about my inner ramblings and maybe I can share some entertaining and/or informative info in posts. Almost forgot I used to do that, didn't ya?